Tracey Emin. 20 Years

Tracey Emin. 20 Years

Kunstmuseum Bern

Scott Douglas
Tracey Emin
Courtesy Scott Douglas
© Scott Douglas, 2008

March 11, 2009

Tracey Emin
20 Years

19 March – 21 June 2009

Wednesday, 18 March, 2009 18 – 20 hrs
Wednesday – Sunday 10 – 17 hrs
Tuesday 10 – 21 hrs

Exhibition at the Museum of
Fine Arts Berne, Switzerland
Hodlerstrasse 8-12
CH-3000 Bern 7
Phone +41 31 328 09 44
press [​at​]

Tracey Emin. 20 Years
19 March – 21 June 2009

The first major retrospective exhibition of works by Tracey Emin, one of the most celebrated and influential artists of her generation will be the highlight of this year’s exhibition programme at the Kunstmuseum Bern. The show will chart the artist’s career from the late 1980s to the present day, presenting the full range of her work in an exceptionally wide range of media – from her famous appliquéd blankets to video; from neons and installation to her intensely personal paintings and drawings. The largest, and most significant showing of Emin’s work to date, this eagerly anticipated exhibition will offer the first comprehensive overview of her career.

Tracey Emin is one of the best-known artists working in Britain today. Born in London in 1963, she is a central figure in the generation of Young British Artists (or YBAs) that emerged in the early 1990s, and has produced some of the most memorable, compelling and iconic works of the last fifteen years. Her autobiographical, confessional art has tapped into the mainstream of public consciousness. Emin studied at Maidstone College of Art, and the Royal College of Art in London, and has had major exhibitions around the world. She became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2007, and in the same year, was selected to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale.

Highlights of the exhibition will include My Bed, perhaps the artist’s most celebrated work, which caused a sensation when it was shown at the Tate Gallery in 1999. Other large-scale installations, such as Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made (1996), The Perfect Place to Grow (2001) and It’s Not the Way I want to Die (2005) will also be reconstructed for the show.

Famously, Emin’s art is intimately bound up in her own biography. Drawing directly upon her personal experiences, it often refers, with disarming and sometimes painful frankness, to traumatic episodes in her life, including her rape at the age of 13, her sexually promiscuous adolescence, and abortions. Emin’s great achievement is to have drawn upon her background and to have done so in a manner that is neither tragic nor sentimental.

Tracey Emin. 20 Years will include a dazzling array of the artist’s embroidered blankets, which she covers in bold, autobiographical texts. The earliest of these, Hotel International, dates from 1993 and was made for her first solo exhibition, where it was shown alongside a collection of letters, memorabilia, teenage diaries and photographs of paintings that she had destroyed. Emin’s family relationships are a central, recurring theme in her art, which the artist has explored in a variety of media. The exhibition will feature powerful examples, including a series of raw and deeply personal monoprints from 1994, entitled Family Suite; and There’s Alot of Money in Chairs (1994), a poignant and affectionate work made from an armchair given to Emin by her grandmother.

Curator: Kathleen Bühler, phone +41 31 328 09 42, e-mail

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Kunstmuseum Bern
March 11, 2009

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